A few of days ago I came across Budapest Bike Maffia, but based on their name I did not know what to expect at first. When I dug deeper, I knew immediately, it must be mentioned here and written about.
For once, this is a ‘mafia’ with a mission and existence of a good cause, well, of a great cause. It all started prior to Christmas in 2011, when a group of managers wanted to do something meaningful. On Christmas Eve they prepared about 150 sandwiches and distributed them on the streets of Budapest to people that seemed to have nowhere to spend their Christmas Eve and founded Budapest Bike Maffia, a non-governmental charity organization. Since then their initiative grew into a bigger project and Budapest Bike Maffia organizes different types of donation and charity activities e.g. for animal shelters, homeless organizations, women’s refuge houses, children’s hospitals, etc. They exclusively use bicycle as a way of transportation to be completely environment-friendly.
A few months ago Budapest Bike Maffia teamed up with Szimpla Café to help local families & people in need and who have difficulties to make ends meet. Gastro-bloggers followed their invitation to prepare great meals at Szimpla during the Sunday Market. Budapest Bike Maffia founders buy ingredients at the Szimpla Sunday Market spending their own money. Szimpla Sunday Market is open since June 2012 and visitors can meet local Hungarian producers of mostly organic fruit, vegetable, meat products and other yummy food, and can buy from them directly in the middle of the city. During the Sunday Market gastro-bloggers cook some very delicious dishes and visitors can pay as much as they think the dish is worth to them.
With the collected money Budapest Bike Maffia makes targeted purchases such as non perishable food, toiletries, blankets, etc. at Szimpla Sunday market and other local shops, and delivers bags of donations on bikes to people in need. Some of the bags are even decorated with a few words or drawings from their donors, saying or showing something encouraging to their fellow citizens on the receiving end.
Budapest Bike Maffia members do this during their free time and other than a Thank you, sweet drawings made by children or emotional appreciation, they do not accept anything for their services. They do this, because it feels good to help others and to give back to society. Their ultimate plan is to expand this idea and type of patronage to other parts of the country, too and support similar local initiatives. Budapest Bike Maffia cooperates with local authorities to help people and families in real need.
It is a very moving, heart warming story and is definitely an initiative that should be a ‘copy & paste’ candidate, since it is a win-win solution in its classical sense and helps everybody involved.
To find out more about Budapest Bike Maffia, about their current activities and the type of donations they are accepting, please visit their Facebook page.
Source of images: courtesy of Budapest Bike Maffia.